Most soldiers or trauma care patients die before ever reaching a surgical hospital. Of those that survive, most die from uncontrolled bleeding. That's why scientists at the University of Washington have developed a new injectable polymer called PolySTAT that helps to clot the blood and prevent bleeding.
Administered in a simple shot, the polymer finds any unseen or internal injuries and starts working immediately. PolySTAT works by fusing fibrin strands to each other and creating links between the clumps. This forms a strong web of fibrin that stops severe bleeding.
PolySTAT is not influenced by fibronolytic enzymes that break up fibrin strands to begin the healing process. While the enzymes are important in the long run, they slow clot formation, a dangerous activity during acute bleeding. Moreover, the material continues to work even when levels of a protein used to make fibrin drop.
In the initial study with rats, researchers achieved 100% success rate in stopping bleeding to an otherwise lethal injury to the femoral artery. For comparison, rats treated with natural protein albumin showed only 20% survival.